If a Tree Falls, A Story of the Earth Liberation Front 2011


A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America’s ‘number one domestic terrorist threat.’

As I write this I weep with sadness and outrage at what has been lost, I write and scream and very few give a fuck . I see absolutely see nothing wrong with the destruction of civilized man and all it has built. Base on the concept that it is “progress” a nice word for the idiots to believe they have the right to live in comfort over every… Natural Being.

PROGRESS; equates to death destruction and subjection and then forcing every person into become a civilian, cooperator-contributor to the machine causing them to ignore the empathetical side of their nature.

The only solution left is to let the idiot consuming civilian eat them selves out house and home and then earth will recover on her own…. Without the egocentrism of civilized man!


In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front– a group the
FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.”

For years, the ELF—operating in separate anonymous cells without any central leadership—had launched spectacular arsons against dozens of businesses they accused of destroying the environment: timber companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12 million ski lodge at Vail, Colorado.

With the arrest of Daniel and thirteen others, the government had cracked what was probably the largest ELF cell in America and brought down the group responsible for the very first ELF arsons in this country.

remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ELF cell, by focusing on the transformation
and radicalization of one of its members.

Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thrilller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.

Drawing from striking archival footage — much of it never before seen — and intimate interviews with ELF members, and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them, IF A TREE FALLS explores the tumultuous period from 1995 until early 2001 when environmentalists were clashing with timber companies and law enforcement, and the word “terrorism” had not yet been altered by 9/11.